Lesley University Conference: Psychology and the Other

October 4, 2013 – October 7, 2013 all-day
Lesley University
99 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Faculty/Professional ($225); Student ($125); Lesley University Student ($100)

Psychology and the Other Conference 2013
The Interhuman and Intersubjective: An Intersection of Discourses

Eric Fromm bemoaned the divorce of psychology from philosophical and religious traditions and, in many ways, this artificial separation from our historical and conceptual siblings has only increased. The purpose of this organization is to provide venues that enrich conversations at the intersections of philosophy, psychology, and theological/religious studies, particularly emphasizing scholarship around the notion of the “Other.” The term “Other” constitutes a shared space for continental thought, theology, and a variety of psychological discourses. This phenomenon bears significantly on ethical, epistemological, and phenomenological scholarship in each of these fields. As an interdisciplinary organization housed in and graciously supported by Lesley University’s Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, we are committed to developing conferences and publications that explore the rich discourses that have emerged around the concept of the “Other” in various intellectual traditions, ranging from phenomenological work like that of Emmanuel Levinas to the work of John Zizioulas in theology or that of Jessica Benjamin in psychoanalysis.


Lewis Aron (New York University)
Tina Chanter (DePaul University)
Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research)
Donna Orange (Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity)
Ann Pellegrini (New York University)
Malcolm Owen Slavin (Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis)

Other featured and invited speakers:

Jessica Benjamin (New York University)
Scott Churchill (University of Dallas)
Philip Cushman (Antioch University)
Ruella Frank (Center for Somatic Studies)
Mark Freeman (College of the Holy Cross)
Sue Grand (New York University)
Lynne Jacobs (Pacific Gestalt Institute/Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis)
Claire Katz (Texas A&M)
Dennis Klein (Kean University)
Richard Kearney (Boston College)
Lynne Layton (Harvard Medical School)
Ana-Maria Rizzuto (PINE Psychoanalytic Center)
Jean-Marie Robine (Institut Français de Gestalt-thérapie)
Donna San Antonio (Lesley University)
Gordon Wheeler (Esalen Institute)

Numerous pre-conference workshops, as well:

Donna Orange: The Suffering Stranger (October 3rd, $250)
In this pre-conference workshop, Donna Orange will bring a philosophical (and clinical) eye toward five major thinkers in psychoanalysis – Sándor Ferenczi, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, D. W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, and Bernard Brandchaft – investigating the hermeneutic approach of each, engaging these innovative thinkers precisely as interpreters, and as those who have seen the face and heard the voice of the other in the ethical sense.

Why the Other? A Philosophical Survey (October 3rd, $250)
How similar is the other to the self? How does her suffering rank alongside the suffering of the self? What assumptions can be made about the other person based on my own experiences? To what degree does the suffering of the other person render me responsible?

This workshop will contextualize the critical question of the other, with particular attention to the appearance of psychology in the trajectory of western thought about otherness. Psychology appears during the heyday of modern philosophy, at a point in time when alterity and debt were frequently subordinated to grand metaphysical systems. Philosophy has come to challenge these systems, which Emmanuel Levinas considers “totalizing” and “violent,” setting up an important conflict within the fields of psychology.

Tracking Emergent Experience: Gestalt Therapy at the Intersection of the Interhuman & the Intersubjective (October 2nd & 3rd, $300)
This pre-conference workshop introduces participants to contemporary gestalt therapy as an experiential practice at the intersection of the interhuman and intersubjective. Not only will participants learn the relevant concepts of contemporary gestalt therapy, but they will also experience them directly as the workshop develops. Participants will learn by doing how gestalt therapy tracks emergent experience. They will become familiar with how contemporary gestalt therapy focuses on various kinds of meetings of the self and other, which is called “contacting.” These meetings are the basis for gestalt therapy as an approach at the intersection of the interhuman and intersubjective. This workshop will offer a lasting support for the participants since they can take the relationships they form and the concepts they understand with them for the rest of the conference. Implications for psychotherapy, philosophy, and theology will be explored. Didactic, experiential exercise, and discussion will be employed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *